Along with the release of the SM951 PCIe SSD, Samsung had several new enterprise SSDs on display at the show. The PM863 and SM863 are SATA 6Gbps drives and pack a new Mercury controller (unfortunately I don't have any specifics at this point), but what's intriguing is the available capacities. The PM863 with 32-layer 128Gbit TLC NAND comes in up to 3.84TB capacity in 2.5" form factor, whereas the SM863 with 32-layer 86Gbit MLC NAND offers a half of that (i.e. 1.92TB). Sustained 4KB random write performance is a decent 15K IOPS for the PM863 and 20K for the SM863, but there is no word about endurance at this point.

In addition to SATA drives, Samsung showed off three new SAS drives with new REX controller and 3D V-NAND. Capacities are once again impressive with the PM1633 packing up to 3.84TB in 2.5" and thanks to the SAS 12Gbps interface sequential performance is doubled compared to the SATA 6Gbps drives. 

And lastly, Samsung also displayed the enterprise version of the SM951 i.e. the SM953. The change compared to the SM951 is M.2 22110 form factor to fit the capacitor on the PCB for power-loss protection, but otherwise the SM953 shares the same core hardware. The firmware is obviously enterprise-oriented with focus on sustained figures, hence the slightly lower performance specs. 

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  • Greg100 - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - link

    In Germany Intel SSD DC P3500 Series 400GB, SATA Express 40Gb/s is 600EUR
  • Greg100 - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - link

    and Intel SSD DC P3500 Series 2TB, PCIe 3.0 x4 (SSDPEDMX020T401) is 3043EUR
  • Greg100 - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - link

    The same price is for Intel SSD DC P3500 Series 2TB, SATA Express 40Gb/s (SSDPE2MX020T401)
  • danjw - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - link

    I was thinking a more consumer product. But thank you for pointing that out.
  • Solandri - Friday, January 16, 2015 - link

    Some of the newer laptops and motherboards I've seen list their M.2 slots as being SATA Express-compatible.
  • kenshinco - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - link

    When can we get this in the US?
  • kwrzesien - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - link

    Hopefully never.
  • Greg100 - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - link

    September, don’t worry, be happy ;-)
  • nicknomo - Friday, January 16, 2015 - link

    I'm curious how Enterprise RAID will be handled in the future. Its likely that SAS and SATA are dead ends for interfaces. There doesn't seem much point, when compared with something like M.2, which is only limited by PCIe speeds.

    The Only problem I see, is that there is no easy way to provide hardware RAID on anything PCIe based. If you wanted to do something like RAID 10 in a server, and you run Windows, you are a out of luck. Are there any solutions planned for this? Something like RAID 10 in a server environment is important, because you get very high fault tolerance and will likely need to stripe SSD's to get any appreciable space.
  • Solandri - Friday, January 16, 2015 - link

    Honestly, I don't think RAID has much longer to live, maybe a decade more. We've already seen hardware RAID give way to software RAID. That is, instead of having dedicated hardware which gloms multiple physical drives together, adds redundancy, and shows it as one virtual one on the ISA/PCI bus, it's now almost always done in software at the operating system driver level.

    The next evolution is to filesystem-based redundancy, like ZFS and btrfs. Where the filesystem knows you have multiple physical drives and creates virtual partition(s) around them. These are much more flexible than software-based RAID. (e.g. if you have two 4 TB HDDs and two 3 TB HDDs, you can create the equivalent of one 3x4 RAID 5, and one 1x2 RAID 1.)

    One of the advantages of filesystem based redundancy is that it's agnostic to hardware. I use ZFS on my server and if I wanted to, I could make a redundant volume comprised of a HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, and networked SAS drive. I mean it would be stupid to do so because of the speed differences, but the point is that you can. So the capability to incorporate PCIe-based SSDs is already there if you're using ZFS or btrfs.

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